August 31, 2006

Cooking Dinner - Shepherd's Pie

In general dinner is my favourite meal to prepare. That being said, it is much easier to get excited about doing that when you have the whole day to prepare and plan. We used to go out to eat quite a bit, but that is much more exciting when you live in the Toronto area instead of Windsor. There is only so much roadhouse food and pizza that one person can handle and it is just so darn unhealthy and costly.

This is my last week of vacation and I know my dinners during the school year will not be up to the same standards as those in the summer. My garden has been such a great inspiration, and the Food Network is helpful as well.
Yesterday I was watching the newer Christine Cushing show - I used to love Christine Cushing Live - and she had a great recipe for Shepherd's Pie. I know it is more of a Fall/Winter meal, but it just looked so good! I downloaded the recipe and made it my own (see below).

Here is some info about Shepherd's Pie that I was able to find:

"Shepherd's pie is a traditional British dish that consists of a bottom layer of minced (ground) lamb in gravy covered with mashed potato and (often) a layer of cheese. It is a favourite dish of institutional cooks keen on feeding large groups of people ... In North America, shepherd's pie is usually a layer of ground beef, a layer of corn and a layer of mashed potatoes. Peas are a common replacement for corn.
Quebec, this variant is called pate chinois "

Here is my recipe - adapted from Christine Cushing

Shepherd's Pie (4 large servings)

1 large Yukon Gold Potato - peeled and cut into chunks
2 large Sweet Potatoes - peeled and cut into chunks
1 T butter
1 t nutmeg
2T sour cream

1 T olive oil
1 lb ground beef
1 medium onion - diced
1 clove garlic - minced
2 stalks celery - diced
2 carrots - diced
1t thyme
2t basil
1 c beef stock
1/2 c red wine
1 T Worcestershire Sauce
1 T Dijon mustard

1. Boil potatoes in salty water for about 10 minutes or until fork tender. Then drain and mash - adding sour cream, butter, nutmeg and S&P. Stir until desired consistency. Set aside.

2. Saute celery, garlic, carrots, and onion in the olive oil until softened - about 7 minutes. Add meat, breaking it apart until it is browned. Add thyme, basil, and S&P. Add stock and wine and stir. Add Worcestershire and Dijon and mix in. Bring to a boil and allow to simmer on low until the liquid is mostly evaporated - about 1/2 an hour.

3. Season the meat mixture with S&P and pour into a square baking dish. Spread the potatoes over top and cover the dish. Bake covered in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes. Take off the cover and bake for another 10 minutes - until the top is golden and the mixture is bubbling.


Suz said...

Yay- you enabled comments! We were talking about sheperd's pie last night at the pub!
Love this blog Danielle, but be ready for some stupid questions from me occasionally...
BTW, meant to comment on your haircut but forgot- I love it! Wasn't too fond of Sienna's, with her bangs on her forehead, but I like yours with them to the side!

Anonymous said...

Too FUNNY! Just googled 'shepherd's pie cushing', and yours came up first- had to find the recipe I made earlier because I forgot how ong to heat it for in the oven :)